Friday, 18 May 2012

data storage

I've been musing about this lately.  It all started when my aunt died, in February, and my sister and I spent a couple of days in her house, which had been my grandmother's house before it was hers, going through photographs and papers.  This inspired me, because there were so many photographs which could not be dated, nor the people in them identified, to go through the several boxes of printed photographs I have, which are not in albums and which date from before I was born up to about 2006, when my photography became exclusively digital.  So I have been doing some of this every day, writing the dates if I am sure of them, and identifying the people.  Getting rid of a lot of rubbish photos at the same time.  They will go into albums eventually.  Should have done this years ago, and do not want anyone else to have to do it when I am gone.  A great many photographs on CDs too, from about 2002 to 2006, and I am going through those and putting them into iPhoto, so they are stored in the cloud.

Then I went to see my mother in April - she has recently moved to a semi-sheltered place, and she needed help in sorting out her possessions.  A lot of photographs there too, on paper, but she can sort those out herself, and largely has done so.  She did a university degree in her sixties, and has a lot of notes from then, on paper.  She didn't use a computer at that time, but she had some floppy disks with the notes.  I had to throw those away, as there is no way to have access to the data on them any more.  She had a couple of those disposable cameras, unused, which I took away and gave to my granddaughter.  Who was most interested in them (she is four) but wanted to know how you look at the photos on the camera, and was amazed to be told that you can't, you have to take the camera somewhere and the people give you the photos on paper - and you have to PAY for them.  If you can even still do that.

We also have a whole bunch of VHS tapes and a functioning video player, and now have to start the process of converting them to DVD, if possible.  Although watching films on DVD has probably had its day.  There will be no more hardware.

So I guess what is important is to be alert.  If the data you have, and want to keep, are stored in a form which is going out of use, then convert them to something which is accessible.  You might  have to do this several times in a lifetime, and for all I know that process is going to speed up.

Microfiche, anyone?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is all horrid and terrifying and I am a dinosaur and am going to be extinct.

I don't like any of this and I hate screens and clicks an all that. I like paper. And even better, telephones. And letters. And real life books and propeor photographs. All of that great stuff. Want to go back in time.